In January 2004, Jaime and I bought the Pantera. For the next 8 years, we worked on it, drove it, worked on it some more, drove it, and worked on it some more. I have a lot of good memories earned through that car. Seems like the tougher the challenge, the better the memories.
Worse job? Probably Dad and I changing the coolant lines under the car. That was horrible. It was wet, smelly, rusty and frustrating, all while working in an extremely confined space. I couldn’t have done it without him.
Most scary? Jaime and I recovering the dash. Days worth of measuring, cutting, stitching and you get one shot at gluing that cover on. The cost of the material alone made the whole thing scary.
Stuff I feel bad about? The Pantera stranding Dad at the end of Highway 55. Nine years later it would leave me and a professional photographer stranded in LA on highway 5. He had to push the car off the freeway three times.
Rewarding? Running four 48 IDA Weber carbs, making nearly 600hp, and having the car run great and stay tuned after everyone who hadn’t ever run Webers told me it couldn’t be done.
Last year we “finished” it. The car is beautiful, reliable, rides nice, has A/C and is so loud that the neighbors complained to the housing association. That’s a success in my book. The car received a fair amount of attention in the Pantera community too. People really responded to things that we did differently and with good taste while maintaining that beautiful, core Pantera look.
Over the past year I’ve taken it to shows. It gets a good amount of attention, but I’m just not really a show kind of guy. I’m ready to go after an hour. Don’t like being stuck there all day and don’t really get a lot out of guys walking by telling me it’s a nice Ferrari, Delorean or Maserati.
Then Roger Ebert dies. I read an article that he wrote, knowing death was near, where he was contemplating his life. He was happy with all the things that he’d accomplished and experienced. How would I fare? For me, owning a car is a valuable experience. More valuable than say, collecting them. You see where this is going right?
I have a huge list of cars that I’d like to own and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to own a lot of them sooner or later. But if my experience of owning the Pantera is now down to driving it to the occasional car show, maybe it’s time to move on. There are a lot of cool cars out there. A lot of great experiences to be had. I’d like to know what owning a Noble or an Audi R8 is like. Or what building a Factory Five ’33 Coupe is like. Or what having a dedicated race car to take to the track is like. These are the type of things that the Pantera can give me. All those years of hard work paid off. :)
So yeah, last week I sold the Pantera. I thought I would feel shitty, but I am super excited. Excited for what is to come. What will replace the Pantera? What adventures await! The only problem now is committing to one choice and sending the others back to the “one day” list.